Thursday, May 12, 2011

Writing and life advice: Have less stuff (and don't stab Al Franken in the head with a pencil)

Last night WriteGirl, a non-profit that mentors at-risk girls with professional women writers, hosted a fundraiser to honor five women for their bold writing.  After a warm and funny introduction by one of her former roommates, Sarah Silverman took the stage.  She twisted her note cards in her hands, explaining that her speech would be one of those filled with bullet points and no meaningful ending.

The things I learned from Sarah Silverman's hilarious acceptance speech for her Bold Ink Award:

Feminine facial hair and the experiences we endure to remove it is ALWAYS funny. Sarah talked about her first brow "separating" appointment, to make two eyebrows out of the one. Following the clinician back to the room, the woman stopped, turned around and asked Sarah, "So, will it just be the mustache today?"

Whenever possible, reference NADS, from Australia.

Stabbing Al Franken in his "winter Jew-fro" while a fellow writer on SNL is a funny story, but might not have made sense in the moment. "I wasn't asked back to SNL," Sarah told us. "I'd like to blame the fact that everyone saw me stab Al Franken in the head, but when I look back at the sketches I wrote, they were terrible." (A reminder to keep writing / working, shitty first drafts are inevitable and necessary.)

"Write prose just like you talk. Just take out all the likes."

If you're supporting yourself and your stuff by "doing something that crushes your artistic soul, stop doing it. Just have less stuff."

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